Many people would say that your will is the most important thing you have ever written. It is the piece of paper that can make sure your wishes are carried out after you die. So, it’s hard to believe that almost two-thirds of people don’t have one.
Even if you planned ahead and made a will, your family and friends may still be surprised after you die. The laws that govern wills are often hard to understand, so it’s easy to make mistakes when writing one. A loved one could lose their inheritance because of a simple mistake. It can make it possible for the will’s contents to be argued over, and it could even cause the will to be null and void.
Most of the time, mistakes in a will are found after the person who made it has died. This means that friends and family have to clean up the mess. We look at the most common mistakes we see so that your will doesn’t have any of these problems.
Not Using A Lawyer
People often think that just putting their wishes on paper is enough to make them legal. In short, it’s not. As you can see from the mistakes we’ll talk about below, wills are very complicated documents that have to be written in a certain way.
If your words aren’t clear or you don’t say what you mean, your instructions might not be followed, or the will might be thrown out. Make sure you get help from a professional estate lawyer when writing a will and that all the right steps are taken.
Not Keeping An Original
Many people think that making a copy of their will is a good idea. But the original copy of the will is needed for your executors to legally handle your estate.
Without the original, it might be hard for your executors to get a grant of probate so they can take care of your business.
Not Appointing Guardians
If you have young children (under the age of 18), you should think about who you want to take care of them after you die. If you are the only parent left and you don’t name a guardian for your children in your will, the family courts could make this decision, and that might mean your children having to live with a relative you don’t like or even going into care. Make sure this doesn’t happen by putting the name of the guardian in your will.
Asking The Wrong Person To Be A Witness
The rule regarding witnesses is that they must not gain from your will. This means you need to ask two people to witness the will who are not included in it in any other way. So you can’t, for example, ask your children or partner to witness your will if they stand to inherit anything from you. Having the wrong witness will void the will, and your estate will be found intestate – probate will take much longer, and your possessions might not go to the people you chose.